Petit Futé's opinion on BUND
This is the emblematic location of Shanghai and the ideal place to discover the history of the city.
A large number of buildings also deserve to be visited. Ancient palaces, large banks seats, some of the Bund buildings are mythical.
The Peace Hotel, which has just opened its doors after a long renovation period, is a masterpiece of Art Deco signed in 1929 by the most famous architectural agency of the time: Palm and Turner. The building illustrates the power of a family of entrepreneurs from Baghdad: the. Victor Sassoon, nicknamed the King of Real Estate, left behind a formidable architectural heritage. In addition to the peace hotel, which originally opened its name (the Sassoon House), it also built the Broadway Mansion, north of the Bund, the Embankment House which overlooks Suzhou River and the complex of the Jinjiang Hotel in the former French concession. The Peace Hotel will be distinguished by its large pyramid of green copper which once housed the apartments of the Sassoon family.
The Astor House, the oldest palace in Shanghai, has hosted great names such as Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin… Built in 1910, you can visit its corridors, borrowing its old wooden flooring over time. His ballroom hosted the first trading of the Shanghai Stock Exchange (in 1990) before it was relocated to Pudong. Deposed by the Peace Hotel in the 1920 s, he kept his charm.
Also, in the centre of the Bund throne the customs building, easily identifiable thanks to its clock tower and its Art Deco architecture of 1927, was built in replacement of a brick structure of the late th century. It is the only Bund building to have retained its function. The clock tower always walks the walk with its Westminster carillon.
Finally, on the left of the customs, is the former Bank of Hong Kong and Shanghai (HSBC) building, an imposing building with a central dome. This building, which was at the time the largest bank in Asia, is the work of the British architects'firm Palmer & Turner, craftsmen of the principal Bund buildings. The building had been requisitioned after the Communists took power to host the Shanghai City Hall, which will remain there until 1995, before moving to the modern buildings of the People's Square.
The Bank of Hong Kong and Shanghai tried to reintegrate its former head office, but in vain: the local authorities demanded such an exorbitant price that its original owner had to abandon it and finally settled at Pudong. It was the Pudong Development Bank that took over the building to make it its head office.
Information on BUND
The majority of the buildings, except museums and restaurant-bars, is closed with the public.
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